Trucking accidents often lead to serious or fatal injuries because of the strength and power of the vehicles involved. Victims of Maryland trucking accidents may be dealing with debilitating injuries, the loss of employment, and even the loss of a loved one. If another individual or entity is responsible for injuries arising from a Maryland trucking accident, victims can file claims against those responsible to recover damages for their losses.
In a civil claim, all damages must be proven at trial, unless the parties agree to settle the claim prior to trial. Damages that are recoverable depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, but generally, damages can be recovered for the injuries and losses that the plaintiff suffered due to the defendant’s wrongful actions. Compensatory damages refer to the damages that compensate the victim for the losses suffered. In general, compensatory damages can be divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those with a fixed dollar value, such as the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, the cost of physical therapy, and transportation costs. Non-economic damages do not have a fixed dollar value, such as mental suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of parental or filial care. Economic damages do not have a limit, but there is generally a limit on non-economic damages in Maryland accident cases. Punitive damages are also available in some cases. In a Maryland injury case, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant acted with actual malice, or with knowing and deliberate wrongdoing. Punitive damages are awarded in cases to serve as a deterrent for others or as a punishment for the defendant’s malicious actions.
A plaintiff must prove damages at trial by a “preponderance of the evidence,” though they must prove punitive damages by a higher standard of “clear and convincing evidence.” In a wrongful death case, the family member who files the case may recover damages to compensate the family member for the loss of their loved one.